Is it the movie “American Graffiti,” or something more sinister?

More and more young adults have been “car cruising” in downtown Boise in recent years, causing concern among residents and business owners.

And now a new Idaho Politics Weekly poll shows Idahoans are split over the practice, seen mostly in larger cities across the state.

Boise is especially susceptible, as young adults travel from all around Treasure Valley to drag “Main Street” on Friday and Saturday nights.

In the famous movie “American Graffiti,” a group of recent 1962 high school graduates and their older buddies interact over a night of car cruising, which results in some funny happenings, and even a car crash that barely avoids serious injuries.

However, in Boise especially, there appear to be some drug and alcohol problems nowadays, along with the rowdy behavior by some cruisers.

Among Idahoans statewide, pollster Dan Jones & Associates finds:

  • 14 percent say the practice is a “big” problem, and authorities should stop it.

  • 34 percent say it’s annoying, but folks shouldn’t overreact to it.

  • 30 percent say it’s just kids having fun and it’s no big deal.

  • 14 percent said they really don’t see this activity in their area, so the question doesn’t apply to them.

  • And 8 percent don’t know.

As one might expect, there are some interesting breakouts along demographic and even gender lines:

Women are tougher on the cruising practice than are men.

  • 18 percent of women say the practice should be stopped by authorities, only 10 percent of men agree.

  • 36 percent of men it is just kids having fun, while only 24 percent of women agree.

While one may expect that those 18-29 years old – the folks who are actually cruising – may find less fault as an age group, that’s not the case.

  • 25 percent (a quarter) of that age group say the practice is a big problem and it should be stopped.

  • But only 9 percent of those age 30-39 say it is a big problem and should end.

  • And those 70 and above – who are old enough that maybe they did some cruising during the 1950 and 60s when it was common place in some cities – are a bit more forgiving.

  • 17 percent of the senior citizens say it’s a big problem and should stop.

  • 34 percent say it’s a concern, but don’t overreact.

  • 20 percent say it’s just kids having fun.

  • 15 percent say it doesn’t apply to where they live.

  • And 13 percent don’t even know about it. (Come on, grandma, get with it.)

Jones polled 608 adults from Sept. 28 to Oct. 9, with the margin of error being plus or minus 3.97 percent.